Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What makes a good Dark Passion?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What makes a good Dark Passion?

    I was reading the W20 chapter on Spectres recently and I noticed that there was mention on Dark Passions for those who were thinking on becoming Spectres in the game. It mentioned that 'Make others look foolish' (Spite) is okay but not a very long-term Dark Passion, it mentions some other Dark Passions to consider, though I was left unsure just why this Dark Passion isn't very good, just in general for my own Shadows.

    I'm in the midst of building a Shadow atm, I want (Despair) as the one emotion behind this last Dark Passion they have, though I'm left unsure just what would make a good Dark Passion for them to chase, as I dislike like being vague and 'spread angst' or 'spread angst to others' seemed a bit vanilla...

    Any help in making an interesting Dark Passion that'd be suitable?

  • #2
    Personally speaking, my character has a similarly nebulous Dark Passion; “Be Taken Seriously (Rage)”. When I created the character, I had one idea about what that would look like, the ST had another idea, and my Shadowguides had yet another idea. My troupe ironed out the wrinkles over a few sessions, but I can see why something like that and “Make Others Look Foolish (Spite)” would be discouraged for long-term play. On the other hand, I made mine work so there’s no reason you couldn’t make that work for your character. Be sure to hash it out with your ST and Shadowguide so they know what sort Spite-vision you have for your character’s darker half.

    For your Despair Dark Passion, maybe something to the effect of “Make [X] Suffer (Despair).” [X] could be some group from your Character’s meatbag days; maybe some organization or loose categorization that her Shadow holds a grudge against.

    Example: A former heroin addict that wants to make drug dealers suffer for what she believes – however erroneous – is her suffering. “Make Heroin Dealers Suffer (Despair)”

    ((If she becomes an action character, she could be a Heroin Heroine. ))


    This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
    (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
    ").

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by wander View Post
      I'm in the midst of building a Shadow atm, I want (Despair) as the one emotion behind this last Dark Passion they have, though I'm left unsure just what would make a good Dark Passion for them to chase, as I dislike like being vague and 'spread angst' or 'spread angst to others' seemed a bit vanilla...
      Some suggestions for (Despair):
      • Convince others that (Religion X) is a lie
      • Point out the flaws in a plan (any & all plans)
      • Interfere with young love
      • Convince people to give up on "impractical" career choices and goals
      • Tell people the "truth" (i.e. all the bad stuff)
      • Sit on the couch and watch tv all day
      • Self-flagellate (or otherwise "hurt yourself")
      • Get (and stay) drunk/high/etc
      • Mindless destruction

      Comment


      • #4
        Gah, I just lost a whole post! Not happy with this time out when composing a longish post...

        Anyways, thanks for the suggestions on Dark Passions! I can sure see some I'll be using for future Shadows and Spectres. For some more info, the Shadow spoken about in question is 'The Freak' archetype and the most thematically important Thorns it has are it's Shadow Traits of Subterfuge and Intimidation. Its the dark half that sees people merely as things or tools and mainly there to facilitate it's desires, which being the Shadow are fairly selfish. The wraith themself was always a guy who tended to bottle up the shit cards life dealt him and whilst he feared pain and death enough to not self-harm or try to hurt/kill himself, his death came from neglecting himself... One day he just keeled over and never got back up. The Shadow inside him is the dark wants that he wanted in life and never got to have, the Shadow whispers half that he should take them, the other half admonishing the psyche for the bad things they do in doing something for themselves... The Psyche has 'Caregiver' Nature and 'Penitent' (from Orpheus) Demeanour.

        I'm looking for potentially one of Vorlorn's suggestions to move around with those themes, that suppressed lust and envy and despair within this Psyche. The main point is to use the Dark Passion to really pump their Angst score up, which the Shadow should achieve by bad uses of the wraith's Phantasm to make some really dark nightmares. Also to link with the Psyche's persona, indirect ways of getting their Corpus into trouble... Partly so they can offer those Shadow dice to get them out of a scrape (the character is not action oriented and that boost to subterfuge or intimidate will help them out of some scrapes) but also they have the Infamy Thorn, so going for a Slumber will help net those temp Angst points.

        So... I also really wanted to know what makes a good long-term Dark Passion and what bad ones would be, and why? I can come up with lots of Dark Passions, but how do I know if they're any good and suitable for long-term play as a Spectre too?

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm a bit confused? Is this a PC or an NPC, and is the goal to play a Spectre or to play a Wraith who succumbs to Spectrehood. If it's an NPC or a PC who starts out as a Spectre, most of this should be fiat, not mechanics. If it's a Wraith who succumbs shouldn't the emphasis be on why they give in to their dark side, not on a bunch of mechanical advantages that give their dark side a technical upperhand?

          But as for Dark Passions, here is the most important thing. Get the Spectre's Dark Passions together, look at them carefully, and ask 'how long will this Spectre resist running to the Mouth of the Void and hurling himself screaming into Oblivion?' Because while Passions help Wraiths resist the pull of Oblivion, Dark Passions don't. Indeed a significant portion of Spectres disappear immediately. So your Dark Passions have to give you a reason to be active, and they have to give a reason to be active for a long time.

          Oftentimes this comes down to a drive to destroy other things with you when you go, but your Spectre seems a lot more focused on forbidden experience, and once it runs out there's not much more to it. So if you want it to last you are going to need it to have a desire to inflict or tempt or take revenge on those who would deny it the experiences it wants.


          Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

          Comment


          • #6
            'Make others look foolish (Spite)' could work. 'Revel in humiliation (Glee)' might be an alternative, though. 'Punish the weak (Glee)' might be another, and perhaps one that gives a better indication of what the Shadow's motivation is for this Dark Passion.

            To make others seem 'foolish' just seems a little weak to me. It's not very a strong thing for a human Id empowered by Oblivion to crave. It's like 'Embarrass people', IMO. It's rude, and bad manners, but not particularly destructive or sinister. It depends how dark you want your Shadow to be. Making people look foolish all the time could get a little tired too, as your character basically becomes a smart alec or a trickster.

            Ask yourself what the underlying cause for the Dark Passion is. Is it a reaction to perceived slights and humiliations against the individual in life? Did they have an inferiority complex which they seek to get revenge on others for? Or were they an exacting perfectionist who now spitefully metes out their own warped justice on others as a way to channel the pain at secretly believing they were never good enough?

            One of the most horrific elements of the Shadow is that it's your Id turned against you. While the Id in humans is selfish and animal, it develops its darker traits often as misplaced attempts to protect the self. Once you die, those traits are hijacked by Oblivion, which wants to destroy everything, but which is very patient indeed. Those dark parts of you which arose to protect the self (even if those parts are maladaptive) are now the very things destroying you...

            Comment


            • #7
              Ramnesis, it's for a PC. It's not about giving their Shadow a Dark Passion to get them to spectrehood quicker, though trying to get a good final one in after knowing which emotion to link it too, which after knowing about the character best fits with Despair. The character's darker emotions left unresolved are lust, envy and despair and it's only the last one I've struggled to make up a really good Dark Passion for.
              So if you want it to last you are going to need it to have a desire to inflict or tempt or take revenge on those who would deny it the experiences it wants.
              Thanks, this quote is really helpful.

              Adam; I quite like the Revel in Humiliation one, seems fitting. With a bit of rewording, something like that could work. The 'Make others seem foolish' Dark Passion was the 'bad' example given in the Wraith20 Spectres chapter, not what I originally planned to go with btw.

              Is it a reaction to perceived slights and humiliations against the individual in life? Did they have an inferiority complex which they seek to get revenge on others for?
              One of these two seems most fitting, after my slight discussion of the character above. Again, the Shadow this time seems more about dragging others down to it's level and also feeding/using others, with little regard for them.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's about character motivation. What are the things that drive that character to self-defeating behavior even though it's unconscious?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm personally fond of Dark Passions that are the unpleasant sides of existing Passions; if a very devoted man has Protect My Wife (Love), then his Shadow encouraging him to Prevent My Wife From Moving On (Greed) nicely paints two sides of the same concept; he protects the woman he cares about, but doesn't want her finding new love because she's still /his/.


                  Call me Regina or Lex.

                  Female pronouns for me, please.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                    I'm personally fond of Dark Passions that are the unpleasant sides of existing Passions.
                    This definitely works a lot of the time. Very good idea.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

                      This definitely works a lot of the time. Very good idea.
                      This sort of thing can have serious consequences. I've seen how bad it can get when you do the "flip-flop" Passion/Dark Passion thing. Your character will need to use his Passions to get Pathos. The Psyche will spend Pathos to get things done while the Shadow just stores the Angst until it can make it's move. Expect your character to spend a lot of time in Catharsis and/or having the Shadow stomping all over the Psyche. If that's the kind of character you and your Shadowguide are looking to play, go for it. If done consciously and with full forethought, it can be a ton of fun. Otherwise, tread carefully.

                      Also, I've seen it come around a lot from a certain value of laziness. E.g. Players who haven't really plumbed the full richness of their character's life in all it's glory, both splendid and terrible. Just pick a couple of things that are "important" and then make up mirror Passion/Dark Passions. Passions are pretty much what your character is all about. One of the best things about Wraith is the depth of character that has to be developed as a part of character creation.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Of course! There's nothing worse than a player looking at his Keep My Son Safe and deciding KILL MY SON is a good Dark Passion. Such a black-and-white inversion is incredibly shallow, and shows a massive lack of understanding of the subtleties of a game like Wraith.


                        Call me Regina or Lex.

                        Female pronouns for me, please.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Even worse is taking essentially the same (or heavily overlapping actions) from both sides, even if the emotions are opposed. Both sides are getting to drink deeply and that usually ends up helping the Shadow more than the Psyche.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                            Even worse is taking essentially the same (or heavily overlapping actions) from both sides, even if the emotions are opposed. Both sides are getting to drink deeply and that usually ends up helping the Shadow more than the Psyche.
                            This. Be careful if the two emotions are too close, because you will be feeding the Shadow a lot in the pursuit of your Passions. The Shadow should grow stronger because your character has deliberately chosen to embrace his dark side, or because he has failed or stumbled in the narrative, and Angst is a consequence of that. The reasons for gaining Angst should be meaningful and never accidental, in other words.

                            I think it's wiser to have Passions and Dark Passions instead revolving around a similar focus, rather than just inverting each other, and even then this should be done sparingly, or you risk making the character's motivations too ambiguous.

                            For example, 'Protect my son (Love)' and 'Keep my son from achieving the happiness I never had (Jealousy)' are connected but not so much that the character will be feeding the Shadow every time he tries to protect his son. Rather, the Dark Passion will only be fed if the Shadow manages to corrupt or pervert the Psyche's actions in most cases, which is more appropriate. 'Guard my son (Possessiveness)', however, would be far too close to the original Passion.

                            Certainly don't do this with every Dark Passion. There should be some Dark Passions that have unique and less obvious motivators. The Shadow often represents things the Psyche didn't even know it felt or desired.

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X